The Multiple-Fronts Edition Monday, March 16, 2020

Beats Announces $149 Powerbeats 4 With 15 Hours Of Battery Life, by Chris Welch, The Verge

The Powerbeats 4 have been upgraded on multiple fronts. They’ve got improved 15-hour battery life (up from 13 hours in the Powerbeats 4) and, like the Powerbeats Pro, are now rated IPX4 for sweat and water resistance. They contain Apple’s H1 chip for quick pairing and hands-free “Hey Siri” voice controls. And Beats says they should sound basically the same as the Powerbeats Pro, which remain among the best true wireless earbuds on the market in terms of audio quality.

Powerbeats 4: Hands On And First Look With Beats' Newest Headphones, by Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

We've only been using the Powerbeats 4 for a few hours thus far but so far we are very impressed with the improvements. Battery gains are substantial, the new design is much more polished, and we like the change from a flat cable to a round one.

The previous flat cable would occasionally stick to your neck while working out. Its flat surface combined with perspiration was a recipe for it holding onto your neck as you moved around. The round cable is much more comfortable, moves more freely, and ditches the cable management piece.


Darkroom Photo Editor For iPhone And iPad Rebuilt With Major Performance Improvements, More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The new depth engine is said to provide a much smoother and accurate blur editing engine similar to what you’ll find in the Photos app:

CorelDRAW 2020, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

The release updates the AI-assisted PowerTRACE feature to improve the quality of a bitmap as you trace it, brings AI-based upsampling options for enlarging images, adds new AI-enhanced Art Style effect presets inspired by the techniques of different artists and genres, improves the Mask Transform tool so transformations can be applied to pixels within a mask, and improves performance up to six times over the previous version.

Echelon Connect Bike Leverages iPad As The Center Of The At Home Fitness Experience, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

Once you launch the app, it becomes command central for your bike. You can take live and on-demand classes, see your leaderboard for the class, and monitor your performance.


Apple Fined A Record $1.2 Billion By French Antitrust Authorities, by Silvia Amaro, CNBC

The French competition authority said the iPhone maker was guilty of cartels within its distribution network and that it abused its economic dependence on its re-sellers.

Two of Apple's wholesalers were also fined: Tech Data and Ingram Micro received fines of 76.1 million euros and 62.9 million euros respectively.

Apple To Provide Maximum Payouts To Authorized Technicians For Qualifying Repairs Through April Amid COVID-19, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

In an internal memo to Apple Authorized Service Providers, obtained by MacRumors, Apple has indicated that its network of authorized repair shops will receive maximum payouts for qualifying product repairs for the months of March and April, regardless of performance metrics. Apple is making this move to ensure that its authorized technicians are financially supported amid the challenging COVID-19 pandemic.

Tim Cook, Eddy Cue Exposed To Coronavirus At Birthday Party, by Amber Neely, AppleInsider

Universal Music's CEO, Lucian Grainge, has tested positive for the Coronavirus —meaning that Tim Cook and Eddy Cue may have been exposed after attending his 60th birthday party.